Workers boycott stops construction of abortion clinic


A contractor hired to build an abortion clinic quit his job this month after all of his workers and subcontractors boycotted the project and refused to work for him, reported the Associated Press Nov. 14.

Planned Parenthood was surprised when Browning Construction Co., one of the state's largest contractors, pulled out of the project only six weeks after the ground-breaking. Clearing, excavation and some of the underground plumbing had already been done, but the foundation had not been put in, reported the AP. Planned Parenthood said this was the first such boycott they have ever seen.

Pro-life construction-industry executive Chris Danze organized the boycott.

Danze, 48, an owner of Maldonado & Danze Inc., a concrete-foundation contractor, spearheaded a campaign, urging more than 750 Austin- and San Antonio-area businesses not to provide supplies or services for the project. He recruited contractors to join the Texas Contractors and Suppliers for Life Association. Danze said hundreds of subcontractors agreed to boycott the project, though not all of them said whether they were anti-abortion. Danze told the AP that some simply did not want to get involved in a controversial project.

Texas Right to Life, which claims 75,000 members, and churches got involved as well.

Planned Parenthood said the campaign was conducted with "intimidation and harassment." But the AP reported that James Browning, of Browning Construction, said he got a polite call from Danze warning him about the boycott.

Planned Parenthood said it would act as its own general contractor and complete the project with contractors who have voiced their interest to help.

The privately funded $6.2 million clinic was set to open next fall. According to the AP, if completed the clinic is completed, it will be Planned Parenthood's first Austin clinic to provide abortions and the fourth licensed abortion provider in the state’s capital.

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